Mourinho is the king - Carvalhal relishing Old Trafford showdown

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is enduring a tough period but his stock remains high back in Portugal, says Carlos Carvalhal.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho   -  Getty Images

Jose Mourinho might be under scrutiny in the Premier League at the moment but Swansea City boss Carlos Carvalhal insists he is the "king" of Portuguese football.

Carvalhal faces his compatriot for the first time when Swansea travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday.

Mourinho's United have fallen away in the title race and could face the indignity of rivals Manchester City sealing glory at their expense in next weekend's derby.

The former Real Madrid and Inter head coach's recent media appearances have found him addressing a range of perceived slights in uncompromising fashion, while his seemingly damaged relationship with players such as Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba have dominated headlines, but Carvalhal insists Mourinho's reputation in his homeland is beyond reproach.

"He is our king of football," he told a pre-match news conference. "He is the best manager ever for Porto.

"He opened the doors for the new generation of managers to go abroad. He opened the ideas of the world on Portuguese coaches.

"He's a fighter - what I mean is he's very good at mind games

"The way he acts, he likes the theatre of it, and he usually wins all these battles. I am completely different, I prefer to be out of the theatre."

Carvalhal has lifted Swansea out of the relegation zone since succeeding Paul Clement at the end of December and they lie 14th, three points above the drop zone ahead of a game where their manager feels they have nothing to lose.

"It will be a very hard game for us. If we achieve something we will be very happy, if we achieve nothing it is completely normal," Carvalhal said.

"If you have a one per cent chance, you must have 100 per cent faith. We will prepare the team to try and achieve something at Old Trafford."

Renato Sanches was the most eye-catching signing of Clement's tenure but the on-loan Bayern Munich midfielder has failed to impress and is back with his parent club at present undergoing treatment on a hamstring injury.

"He has gone back to Bayern Munich for the final phase of his recovery," Carvalhal added. "He has been in Munich for the past two weeks and now we are waiting.

"He had a scan on Tuesday, which was okay. I spoke with him and he is progressing very well. We are waiting for him. I don't know if he will return this week or next week, it depends on Bayern."

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